Residents at Southtown Public Housing still upset at HABD - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Residents at Southtown Public Housing still upset at HABD

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Irene Johnson is still frustrated with the Birmingham Housing Authority days after an outburst at Thursday's board meeting. Johnson was arrested with activist Marilyn Mosely, but was later released that same day.

She says she wants respect for the residents, sufficient heating, adequate parking, gas leak repairs and mold issues gone.

"We have not been able to work with the administration whatsoever," says Johnson. She believes matters have gotten worse since Naomi Truman took over as housing authority executive director.

Johnson has been vocal, while others in Southtown public housing fall back from the cameras afraid of any type of retaliation from the housing authority. But being outspoken has led her to believe she might now be a target.

A police report, dated February 20th, 2013 states Johnson returned home and detected a strong odor of an industrial astringent, the chemical was so strong she sought medical attention for burning eyes and skin, and had difficulty breathing.

The police report also states Johnson believes Truman may have ordered someone to come into her home with chemicals as she is the only person with the authority besides the housing manager.

Months went by, and with little done, Johnson continued to speak at meetings. That's when Truman decided to take action.

A cease and desist notice against Johnson was filed seven months after the police report.

It states Truman may take legal action against Johnson for intentionally making false and defaming allegations about her during public forums such as the regular meetings of the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District and the Birmingham City Council.

About a month later, in October, another notice from the law firm stating that Johnson has 30 days of the letter to issue a public apology and retract any slanderous statements and threatening actions against Truman. It states they will not hesitate to take legal action to terminate the lease agreement.

Johnson never apologized, still lives at Southtown public housing, wants her community back and wants the people to speak up.

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